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Jul 17 - Dry Dock in Portsmouth

Position Report for 1100UTC, Sunday 17th June 2007:
The JCR is on the blocks in Dock 15, Her Majesty's Naval Base, Portsmouth

Following our departure from Portland last weekend and the gentle passage to Portsmouth, the James Clark Ross is once again at Portsmouth for her annual drydock and refit.

Monday morning saw us entering the Naval Base and Dock 15 and shortly after we were secured in the correct position (this is a precision piece of work, to ensure that the ship is going to sit correctly on the blocks that are below us) and the dock was pumped dry. Once settled on the blocks, shore power is connected (as we are unable to run our engines without water to keep them cool) and then the final pumping out was completed.

Passing the Round Tower
Passing the Round Tower as we enter Portsmouth on Monday 11th June 2007. Picture Libby Jones

Following an initial inspection to ensure that we were indeed sitting as we should be, the dock bottom was cleaned and then work could commence on the underside of the ship.

Cleaning back the hull to prepare it for painting.  Picture Mike Gloistein
Cleaning back the hull to prepare it for painting. Picture Mike Gloistein

There are many tasks to be completed, some of which include the cleaning of the propellor, the hulls side (and a fresh coat of paint), replacement of a number of the windows and the largest job of them all, a new Control and Power Management System for the Main Engines.

Stripping back the paneling in a cabin
Stripping back the paneling in a cabin to access the old windows for removal and replacement. Picture Mike Gloistein

Running cables in the Machinery Control Room.  Picture Mike Gloistein
Running cables in the Machinery Control Room. Picture Mike Gloistein

The Power Management System controls the engines and hence the power produced and the installation work will involve the running a miles of cabling and the fitting of new control panels. It is this work that will take the entire refit period to complete and the reason that we will be in Portsmouth until early August.

Two of the four engines are being overhauled during the refit period. This work involves stripping the engines down and then servicing all the component parts, before putting them back together again. Far more work that you would have done to your car during a service period.

One of the engines stripped down.  Picture Mike Gloistein
One of the engines stripped down. Picture Mike Gloistein

The underwater drydock work should be completed by the 25th June when it is hoped to flood up and be afloat again.